Tag Archives: naval base point loma

Did You Know?—In the presence of mine enemies

Did you know?

The last Saturday in September is the Cabrillo Festival at Naval Base Point Loma here in San Diego. It actually is the Navy’s submarine base. Only one day a year can a member of the general public like me get onto the base.

It’s a historic area because it’s where Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo landed his Spanish galleon in 1542. Cabrillo was the first non-Native to visit what is now San Diego.

The 2017 Cabrillo Festival has been on my calendar for a year. I wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to walk around the base. Certain areas, of course, were still off limits. One of the first sites I saw was this marker:

Freedom Tree marker at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego

THE FREEDOM TREE
WITH THE VISION OF UNIVERSAL FREEDOM
FOR ALL MANKIND
THIS TREE IS DEDICATED TO
CAPT. HOWARD RUTLEDGE
AND ALL
PRISONERS OF WAR
AND
MISSION IN ACTION
1978

Here’s the Freedom Tree:

Freedom Tree at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego

Capt. Howard “Howie” Rutledge was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on November 13, 1928, and died of cancer in Norman, Oklahoma, on June 11, 1984.

He spent 7½ years as a prisoner of war in the “Hanoi Hilton” after his plane was shot down on November 28, 1965, over North Vietnam, and was released in 1973 as part of the general prisoner release. He later served as commanding officer at a naval air base in the Pacific and retired after 34 years in the Navy.

Rutledge co-wrote a book with his wife, “In the Presence of Mine Enemies,” detailing his time as a POW. Upon being published, it became the first book-length, firsthand account of the experiences of American prisoners of war in Vietnam.

For more on Capt. Rutledge, visit the Pow Network.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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That’s one giant swimming pool

Out & About

The best view of downtown San Diego from land probably is from Cabrillo National Monument. Unfortunately, in order to get there you have to go through Naval Base Point Loma, and the gates are closed from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Map through Naval Base Point Loma

If you go to Cabrillo National Monument, leave some time to explore World War II bunkers and other interesting stuff along the 2.2-mile drive through the Naval Base. You won’t be able to get too close to anything, but there are many vista points where you can pull over and gaze. Recently I pulled over and gazed at this:

SSC Pacific, Point Loma, San Diego CA

I have no clue what SSC Pacific.

Looks like a giant swimming pool.

Off to my resource library…. Nothing.

Off to Google…. Bingo!

SSC Pacific stands for “Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.” Why not SNWSCP? Well, “Space and Naval Warfare” has its own acronym: SPAWAR. So SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific becomes SSC Pacific, which still leaves one wondering, Why not SSCP?

Along with SSC Pacific’s main facility here in San Diego, it has detachments in Hawaii, Guam, and Japan. Japan?

SSC Pacific is the Navy’s premier research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) laboratory for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR). A lot of big words.

Way beyond me, which means it’s way beyond Twitler, too.

For more on SSC Pacific, go here.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat